May 13 2014:
It was a beautiful day. The maple flats is a loop trail that runs along the base of the mountain and is relatively level with lovely woodlands and a small creek tumbling by. Here is a map of the trail showing our path in yellow: maple flats trail. We started at the trail head (TH) then proceeded to (1) to (2) to (3) to (10) to (11) to (12) then back to trail head.
We saw many clusters of large bloodroot leaves. Unfornately we never hike early enough to see these beautiful flowers. Spring beauties dotted the trail in abundance.
We always enjoy coming across a patch of rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides). The leaves and flowers are so delicate and airy. This time we also found a rue anemone flower that was slightly pink. Normally the flowers are very white. Photo on the left.
On the right, we thought we would take this picture since one does not often see catbriar(Smilax rotundifolia), in bloom
We came across some virgina pennywort (Obolaria virginica) nestled in the leaf litter. The plants are only about 6 inches tall and easy to miss. We saw them just before the trail turns and heads back. This is the northern limit for this plant and we have seen them previously higher on the mountain here. On the left are two views. This plant is rare / threatened in NJ as well as in some other states
We were really surprised to see some squawroot (Conopholis americana) although is was reported by the NY-NJ-CT Botany website. We had seen lots of them in the Great Smoke Mountain National Park but not in NJ. This plant is parasitic and gets its nutrition from roots of the oak trees.
This was a pretrip to a hike that we lead a group of non outdoors friends to introduce them to what they are missing! Maple Flats trail is one of the easiest trails there and very pretty. While our friends walked they commented how nice and peaceful it was and how they would never have come themselves. They appreciated the introduction to many of the plants.
More information on the Sourland Mountain Preserve: general information
Plant list from NY-NJ-CT Botany Online: NY-NJ-CT Botany website
Below is a list of some of the plants that we saw on this trip. Also there are links to our photo pages in our photo galleries.
Hope you will go there and enjoy.
H. & M. Ling
|type||flowering||scientific name||common name||links to photo page|
|herbaceous||Arisaema triphyllum||jack in the pulpit||jack in the pulpit photos|
|herbaceous||y||Claytonia virginica||spring beauty||spring beauty photos|
|tree, small||y||Cornus florida||dogwood||dogwood photos|
|herbaceous||y||Geranium maculatum||wild geranium|
|herbaceous||Maianthemum racemosa||solomons seal - false|
|herbaceous||y||Monotropa uniflora||indian pipe|
|herbaceous||y||Obolaria virginica||Virginia pennywort||Virginia pennywort photos|
|herbaceous||y||Osmorhiza claytonii||sweet cicely|
|herbaceous||Oxalis violacea||violet woodsorrel||violet woodsorrel photos|
|herbaceous||Polygonatum pubescens||solomons seal - hairy|
|herbaceous||Polygonatum biflorum||solomons seal - smooth|
|herbaceous||y||Ranunculus recurvatus||hooked buttercup|
|herbaceous||Sanguinaria canadensis||bloodroot||bloodroot photos|
|herbaceous||y||Saxifraga virginiensis||early saxifrage|
|herbaceous||y||Thalictrum thalictroides||rue anemone||rue anemone photos|
|herbaceous||y||Uvularia perfoliata||perfoliate bellwort||perfoliate bellwort photos|
|herbaceous||y||Viola sp||blue violet|
|herbaceous||y||Viola pubescens||violet yellow|
|shrub||y||Berberis thunbergii||japanese barberry|
|shrub||Staphylea trifolia||american bladdernut||American bladdernut|
|shrub||Viburnum acerifolium||mapleleaf viburnum|
|shrub||y||Viburnum prunifolium||blackhaw viburnum||blackhaw viburnum photos|
|tree||Acer rubrum||red maple|
|tree||Acer saccharum||sugar maple|
|tree||Carya ovata||shagbark hickory|
|tree||Liriodendron tulipifera||tulip||tulip tree flower photos|
|fern||Botrychium virginianum||rattlesnake fern|
|fern||Osmunda claytoniana||interrupted fern|
|fern||Thelypteris noveboracensis||new fern|